Pastavy
Fot. Jakub Gałęziowski

Pastavy (Polish: Postawy) – the capital of the Pastavy Raion in the Vitebsk Oblast – is a town located in the northern part of Belarus in the Belarusian Lake District. In the past the town was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then the Second Polish Republic. At present, Pastavy has a population of under 20,000, including Poles. It is situated 20 kilometres away from the border with Lithuania. The Myadzielka River, a tributary of Dysna River, flows through the town.

Pastavy had a town charter already at the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the mid-17th century, a Franciscan church and monastery was funded in the town. Pastavy belonged in turn to the Deszpot and Zenonowicz families, and from the 18th century to Antoni Tyzenhauz — when it greatly expanded. In 1795, Pastavy became part of the territory annexed by Russia. In the interwar period, the town was within the borders of the Second Polish Republic, where it was the seat of district and local authorities. Just like all the eastern territories of the Second Polish Republic, Pastavy, too, was seized by the Red Army in September 1939. In 1941, the town got under the German occupation, and, in 1944, it was re-entered by the Soviets. Until 1991 Pastavy was within the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic and now is located in independent Belarus. The town has developed the food and linen industries. There are many historical buildings in the town that are worth seeing, among them the classicistic Tyzenhauz Palace from the second half of the 18th century (now converted into a hospital), Landscape Park which is part of the former palace park, the old market square with its baroque buildings and the synagogue from the early 20th century. The town is the birthplace of Polish actor Stanisław Jasiukiewicz known for his part of Janek Kos’ father in the Four Tank Men and a DogTV series.

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